Two more World Cup champions were honored at Nats Park on Monday night, as the USWNT and Washington Spirit’s Rose Lavelle and Mal Pugh threw twin first pitches ahead of the Nationals game against the Atlanta Braves.
The pressure was on, as just a few days ago two-time World Cup champion and Northern Virginia-native Ali Krieger returned to DC to throw the ceremonial first pitch at Nats Park. Krieger nailed the throw, pitching a perfect strike right over the plate.
Both Lavelle and Pugh’s throws were great, but there was just one small mistake.
The plan had been for Pugh to throw to Nationals’ Erick Fedde and for Lavelle to throw to Adrian Sanchez, but Pugh’s throw accidentally criss-crossed to the wrong catcher. Luckily, Lavelle improvised and threw to the waiting Fedde.
The reaction by the two Spirit players was priceless.
Pugh, who in 2016 was the youngest player to make her debut with women’s national team and was the youngest player to ever score for the United States in the Olympics, actually practiced her throw the previous night with a member of the Nationals’ opponent. Pugh is dating Atlanta Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson.
Both Pugh and Lavelle got some tips before the game from members of the Nationals. During Krieger’s visit with the Nationals, it was revealed that members of the Nats had been watching the World Cup games and cheering on USWNT’s golden performance.
Photo: @nationals Instagram Story
Lavelle and Pugh also signed autographs and even made time to meet some fans.
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) July 30, 2019
One of our 2010 girls ran into some other soccer players tonight at the @Nationals game! Thanks @MalPugh and @roselavelle for being such great role models and taking time to interact with fans! #USWNT #GunstonRising pic.twitter.com/L186D5fr3w
— Gunston Soccer Club (@GunstonSC) July 30, 2019
You can catch Pugh and Lavelle at their next home game on August 10, as the Spirit take on the Chicago Red Stars. The Spirit will also play two games at Audi Field this season.
— Washington Spirit (@WashSpirit) July 30, 2019
Headline photo: @Nationals
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